Chapter 39: The Holy Ground
“Humph! Very good.” Then, in a low voice, Si Bai Rong asked the black-haired old man next to him, “Old man, who is this brat?”
“According to his appearance and the spear on his back, he should be Dong Bo Xue Ying of the Water Rites Town,” the black-haired old man replied. “He should be twenty-two this year. By the time he was fifteen, he had single-handedly exterminated the entire Bent Blade Union. Since he has dared to undertake this mission, he should already be a Silver Moon knight.”
“Twenty-two years old?”
Bai Rong’s mood turned for the worse.
He was already past fifty, and now he had met such a young Silver-Moon knight. Of course he would be unhappy!
“Humph!” Bai Rong coldly snorted, before taking a seat at the side. The black-haired old man followed suit.
The red-robed old man swept a glance across the five of them – Si Bai Rong, the black-haired old man, Tang Xiong, Mage Jing Qiu and lastly, Xue Ying.
“All five experts have arrived. You can call me Yuan Wu, the chief of Azure River County’s Dragon Mountain Manor,” the red-robed old man spoke in a welcoming manner. “I believe that all of you have heard of my name, though this is my first time meeting Mage Jing Qiu and Dong Bo Xue Ying.”
Yu Jing Qiu and Xue Ying smiled at that.
“Manor Lord, please cut the pleasantries. Just tell us what we will be doing,” Bai Rong said.
“There is no rush.”
Yuan Wu’s whole expression suddenly became ice-cold. “Before receiving the mission, I would like to first remind you five experts which are the most fundamental rules!”
“First rule – everything pertaining to this mission, including the information about your companions, must be kept within these four walls. Leakage of any detail relating to the mission will be deemed as failure. But it doesn’t end here. According to our rules, both you and your companions for this mission will receive reprisal from our manor, and if we are to discover you guilty of leaking classified information, nobody will be able to save you.”
“Second rule – this is a mission of the most difficult level among the Black Iron level. Nobody can guarantee your safety. If you lose your life, you can only blame it on your bad luck.”
“I want you to know these two rules in advance. If you can not accept these conditions, please leave now!”
Yuan Wu glanced across the five experts.
Even after hearing the strict rules, Xue Ying and the rest of the experts did not leave.
“Manor Lord, we already know the rules ,” the white-haired Tang Xiong replied.
“Hmph. There is no such thing as absolute safety when venturing out into the unknown. If you are afraid, it is much better to just return home early.” Bai Rong took a quick glance at Xue Ying. In front of his ‘beloved’ Mage Jing Qiu, Bai Rong would use all the strength he possessed to suppress anyone who dared to steal her attention. Right at this moment, his only adversary was that brat Xue Ying. After all, the other two experts, his own protector and Tang Xiong, were already old and did not pose any threat to him.
It was just him. That Dong Bo Xue Ying brat who had managed to make his mood sour.
Yuan Wu nodded. “Since everyone understands the possibility of death in this mission, and the confidentiality of everything pertaining to it, I will now begin explaining what this mission entails.”
Xue Ying, Jing Qiu and the rest of the experts listened carefully.
Any small carelessness due to a lack of understanding of the mission could be fatal.
“This time, the objective of the mission is to kill the chief of Azure River County’s Qu Tai Town number one clan, the Lu Clan’s Lu Huai Ru. Mission perimeters will be restricted to the Lu Clan’s castle.”
“Lu Huai Ru? He is a Meteor-ranked mage. According to the rumours, there are only three or four other Meteor ranked knights in his Lu Clan. With such prowess, why is there even a need for the five of us to work together? Having such weak opponents, how could our lives even be endangered?” Bai Rong replied suspiciously.
The Dragon Mountain Manor Lord solemnly replied, “Lu Huai Ru is very well-versed in the arts of refining. As such, in the entire castle, there are still plenty of dangers. But the most important point is… there is actually a Demonic Emissary within our Azure River County’s holy ground.”
The expressions of all five experts instantly turned pale.
A Demonic Emissary?
In the entire empire, there was only a single orthodox type of temple, that was the Temple of the Earth God. Other than that, everything else was considered unorthodox and related to the Demon God. Even the first Dragon Mountain emperor would not be able to build a religion towards his own glory.
But at the same time–
Any Demonic Emissary who dared to enter this world was extremely terrifying. Nobody in their right minds would treat this matter lightly.
“Any matter involving the Demonic Emissary are matters to be handled carefully. Here, within the holy ground of our Azure River County, there are just some low-ranked cultivators. Your opponents only have a few Meteor-rankers. The degree of threat is not as high, and thus, we decided to only send five of you over. Since you already know the mission, if you decide not to go, you are not allowed to leave this Dragon Mountain Manor until the mission has ended.” Said the Manor Lord
“Are there any other questions?”
“Within the castle of the Lu Clan, are there any Silver-Moon rankers? Any Legend rankers?” Jing Qiu asked.
“Until now, we have not found any! They might possibly have some hidden strength within, but from what I believe, the chances of a Legend-ranker appearing is not that high! Legend-rankers are already quite rare in this region. What’s more, they would not be willing to waste their time in such a small area, when they have the entire empire to wander.
“The cult of the Demon God can only spend their time hiding in the dark. I highly doubt they would have the luxury and resources to send a Legend ranker to such a secluded place,” Bai Rong added.
“Alright. If there are no further questions, we will be starting our mission now!” Yuan Wu stated. “Our Dragon Mountain Manor will arrange a flying-ship to send you to the target location.”
Bai Rong turned towards Jing Qiu, “Jing Qiu, this is quite a dangerous mission. You are a mage, so it would be better if you were to stick closer to us. We will definitely protect you.”
Yu Jing Qiu frowned.
She was already very tired of this Bai Rong trying to chase after her day in, day out. Yet, her family was located at the Azure River County, and thus, she did not want to create even more trouble back at home with the Si Clan.
At this moment, Xue Ying had already taken his weapon box and began walking out of the manor. Jing Qiu started walking in the same direction as him.
“Tsk. That Xue Ying doesn’t even have a single storage treasure. Even now, he still has to carry that weapon box on his back,” Bai Rong snorted.
In the suburbs of Azure River County, there was a majestic castle covering a full three miles of a wide, open plain. It was much bigger than Xue Ying’s own Snowrock castle.
This was the Lu Clan’s castle.
The castle was divided into an outer region, and an inner region.
The inner region of the castle was shaped like an octagon, as if there was an eccentric monster lying within it. This castle formation had been personally arranged by Lu Huai Ru after numerous studies. The interior was filled with a large number of Trap Arrays. The closer one got to the bottom of the castle, the more dangerous it was.
“My Divine Lord, are the servants prepared by this lowly-one pleasant enough? ” Lu Huai asked reverentially.
Lying nearby, at one side, was a monster-like man.
This man had a very sturdy body, with a waist as wide as a water tank. He was two and a half metres tall, with arms much thicker than that of the average person. He had a needle-like beard and a pair of slightly droopy eyes. Occasionally, when those eyes opened, one could feel the terrible intent within. His breathing could cause the surroundings to tremor, and the ladies next to him were all perpetually jittery.
“They are alright. Just average,” the monster-like warrior replied. “Why? Could it be that you are extremely afraid of me?”
“My Divine Lord’s strength could cause the world to tremble. This one certainly fears it.”
“Do not worry, I’m just here to take a little rest. Moments ago, I had a narrow escape from the Infernal Realm. That almost made me forget how wonderful this mortal world is! Alright, you go gather more beauties. It would be best if you could get some powerful female mages. Ordinary mortals really do not have much taste.” The monster spoke, before picking up the piece of meat next to hi and began to eat earnestly.
“Yes, yes yes, My Divine Lord. Please do not worry. I will go right now to get some powerful mage beauties to present to you, My Divine Lord.”
“Go! Don’t hinder my enjoyment here.”